eMTB Resources

The Trails are Common Ground™ e-MTB Hub and Quick Start Guide for e-Mountain Bikers

Welcome to the fantastic sport of mountain biking and to the e-MTB Hub

The e-MTB Hub is a resource to help you have the best possible mountain biking experience.  That experience includes keeping you and other trail users safe, preserving our valuable natural landscapes, and protecting our access to trails and places to ride. 

This Hub is for seasoned mountain bikers, brand new riders and those somewhere in between. The Hub is brought to you by the Trails are Common Ground movement and by your friends at the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

Let’s drop in!

First, in the spirit of Trails are Common Ground™, lead with Kindness, be Aware at all times on the trail, and consistently add to your trail specific Knowledge. Then, 

Know the class of your e-MTB and where you are allowed to ride.

Class 1 e-MTBs are the most common, as well as the most likely to be allowed on some non-motorized trails. But, some trails that allow traditional mountain bikes do not allow any e-MTBs, while other trails may only allow class 1 e-MTBs. Class 1 e-MTBs have access to more trail mileage than class 2, class 3 and out-of-class e-MTBs. Click here for more information on the class system.

Click on the image or click here for a downloadable graphic with more information on the e-MTB classification system.

All classes of e-MTBs are generally allowed on trails that allow motorized use.

Check with your local trail organization or mountain biking club and the manager or rangers of the trail systems in your area. Bike shops can be good sources of information, too. TrailForks and MTB Project show e-MTB friendly trails across the United States and beyond, but don’t make the distinction between classes.

Take some time to educate yourself with fun videos:

E-Bike Education:
Stay Classy!

E-Bike Education:
Tips for First-Timers

E-Bike Education:
No E-Bikes Allowed!

E-Bike Education:
Look Ahead!

E-Bike Education:
Your E-Bike Battery is the LIFE of the Party

Don’t Forget to Spread Good Trail Vibes!

Consider adopting a yield-first strategy with others.

Give trail users plenty of friendly warning before passing by ringing a bell or saying hello. Slow to walking speed and be patient as they find a safe place to step off of the trail to let you by. Treat everyone you encounter on the trail with kindness and respect. 

Be cautious with your speed.

e-MTBs can get up to high speeds quickly. Be attentive, constantly on the lookout for other trail users and animals, as well as unexpected hazards like a fallen tree across the trail. Pay particular attention to blind corners and limited lines of sight, slowing down as you approach. You never know what might be just around the corner. 

Know your battery range and risks.

You don’t want to run out of juice out on the trail. Also, know how to safely and properly charge, maintain and care for your battery to prevent fire hazards. 

e-MTB Battery Safety Tips

  • Do not leave a charging e-bike battery unattended or on the charger overnight.
  • Only charge your e-bike battery with the charger provided by the manufacturer.
  • Do not use or attempt to charge a damaged or malfunctioning e-bike battery.
  • See more e-MTB battery safety tips from Bicycling Magazine, and tips for bike shops courtesy of Human Powered Solutions. 

Know mountain biking best practices.

Much of what you need to know while riding your Class 1 e-MTB is the same information needed for riding traditional mountain bikes. Check out IMBA’s Ride Vibes for more tips to be a model mountain biker.

Visit IMBA’s e-MTB Education page for more resources on e-MTBs.

This overview helps you get you started or reminds you of some basic courtesies and considerations. Explore the links to additional information and learn more. Why? Because there is a lot going on out on the trails and everyone’s experience—including yours—depends on our collective knowledge and judgment on the trail. Trails are common ground. Congrats again and enjoy the ride. Mountain biking is awesome!

Quick Links:

e-MTB Classification Chart
Trails are Common Ground’s easy to understand chart to help you learn the different classifications of e-MTBs.

Trails are Common Ground Quick Start Guide for e-Mountain Bikers
Trails are Common Ground’s quick tips to help you be prepared and get the most out of your ride.

e-MTB Identification Guide
Trails are Common Ground’s E-Bike ID guide to help riders understand which type of E-Bike they own and where it can most commonly be ridden. Because only certain E-Bikes are allowed on certain trails, it’s important that riders know where a specific bike can be ridden before they ride..

e-MTB Buyer’s Guide
Trails are Common Ground’s E-Bike Buyer’s Guide offers an explanation of the different categories of E-Bikes and common types of riding areas so potential buyers can ensure that they select an E-Bike that is allowed on their local trails before they make their purchase..

Mountain Biking Best Practices
Check out IMBA’s Ride Vibes for tips to be a model mountain biker.

Find e-MTB Friendly Trails
MTB Project

e-MTB Battery Safety Tips
Bicycling Magazine
Human Powered Solutions

More e-MTB Resources
IMBA’s e-MTB Education Page contains even more resources for e-MTB riders.

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